MadSci Network: Genetics

Re: why Mandel only make a research about the gene just for pea?

Date: Fri Sep 28 19:44:00 2001
Posted By: Greta Hardin, Secondary School Teacher, Science
Area of science: Genetics
ID: 1001671657.Ge

Why Was Mendel Playing With Peas?

	First as far as Mendel's BIG IDEA, why don't you look that up 
yourself..... there are many great sites that you can probably find now that 
you are spelling Gregor's last name as MEndel instead of Mandel.

Here are some good sites to get you started

	Now, second, why just peas?  Several reasons, but I suspect a large 
reason was that because Gregor Mendel was a German Monk in 1865, and the 
organisms he could easily get that could be easily manipulated, and show 
lots of results in a realtively short period of time, limited his choices.  
Being a monk, I have a feeling, he felt more comfortable messing with the 
mating habits of plants rather than animals.  And peas have a nice short 
growing season.  And he also wanted a system that had a small number of 
variables.  Peas plants can be big or small, the seeds can be green or 
yellow, smooth or wrinkly.  Lots of characteristics that have only two 
choices.  Whereas animals have lots of choices for their characteristics.  
Like dogs for instance, there are big, medium, small, brown, yellow, red, 
spotted, striped and so on.  
	And peas, were a better choice than other plants becuase they have 
offspring that are nice BIG seeds, and so he could check their chactersitics 
easily.  And the final reason was that nobody had done this work before, so 
he had to start somewhere.

Hope this helps,


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